LILAMAND CONFISEUR FRUIT CONFIT


Imagine a store that offers tantalizing summer fruits sweetly preserved in its pristine state for your pleasure all year round. Sounds a bit Willy Wonka-ish doesn't it? But at Lilamand in the small village of Saint Remy in the South of France, it is their specialty - to suspend fruit in time by using one of the oldest forms of preservation: sugar.



Fruit is picked at its peak and boiled in simple syrup, causing the natural water and acidity  in the fruit to be extracted and gradually replaced by sugar.  The simmering is performed roughly seven times over a three to four week period to encourage sugar to penetrate the flesh and preserve the fruit inside out.
 

After the simmering process, the fruit is preserved in syrup for a minimum of two months to complete the preservation process, and sugar further concentrates in the flesh.


Once the fruit has undergone preservation in syrup, each piece is drained, placed on a rack and left to dry over a week's time. The entire process from start to finish lasts between three to four months depending on the fruit. 


And if you didn't think there wasn't enough sugar already in the fruit, the finished product can also be glacéd or given another sugar coating as pictured above. Strawberries, orange, cantaloupe, fig, clementine, apricot and pear preserved to look as close as to the day they were picked.


Most all fruits, except for berries, can be candied whole. My favorite of all the samplings were the red hot chili peppers, which were tantalizing to the eyes, spicy hot but balanced by a syrupy sweetness, and yielding a consistency that stood somewhere between jam and a gummy bear.


These tall green stalks may look like celery, but they are actually the stems of a well loved flower in France called Angelique. The flavors are delicate and floral. Sherry tells me that she minces candied Angelique to add to cakes and cookies for a subtle floral flavor. 


As you can imagine, with as much beauty as these candied fruits exude, it is very common to use these fruit confit to decorate cakes and tarts. These glistening lemon slices would be perfect on top of a lemon meringue pie.


Our friend Helen dropped off a ladyfinger cake dressed in candied chestnuts, which was as delectable as it was beautiful.


And if you think there is a limit to the type of fruit that can be preserved, this glacéd pineapple will certainly change your mind. Beautiful, tantalizing and sweet, this store will certainly open your eyes to all that can be candied.


5 Avenue Albert Schweitzer
13210 Saint-Rémy de Provence
France

71 comments:

Beth said...

I love the look of candied fruits, but I don't know if I've ever eaten any--they're almost too pretty too eat!

Stephanie Savors the Moment said...

What a beautiful, beautiful place! I can't decide which fruit looks best but I think, like you, I would really like those peppers. Thanks again for another delightful post ***sigh***
XO, Stephanie

Alison said...

Wow...these fruits look beautiful! I would love to try the pineapple! Great post and beautiful photos!

Chef E said...

This certainly blows my sweet tooth way off course! Hubby would go nuts for this, and I have to wait till we go in October to try it!

Bob said...

Oh wow. Those fruits look gorgeous. The pears look like you should be able to see through them.

Sook said...

Oh wow, the fruits are so beautiful. Nice pictures, Christine!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Oh the stunning beautiful fruits....beautified....oh those pears...i can keep gazing...will definately hop by when in France...a foodies delight this splendid post u wrote.....

Mari's Cakes said...

My favorite ...the candied Pineapple...who would of thought it can look so beautiful!

MaryMoh said...

Wow...all these candied fruits just blows my mind! I want to taste every one of them!

TKW said...

They look amazing! I want the chile pepper!

La Table De Nana said...

Oh thank you I will try and go one lifetime!

While in Provence..we missed the opportunity of visiting 2 places that specialized in fruits confits..next time I won't!

Mum in Bloom said...

What a beautiful blog you have here. These candied fruit would be amazing on their own or in baked goods.. oh, the possibilities! Thank you for visiting my site today :)

Mum in Bloom said...

What a beautiful blog you have here. These candied fruit would be amazing on their own or in baked goods.. oh, the possibilities! Thank you for visiting my site today :)

Gulmohar said...

The fruits look so lovely and your pics are awesome :-) and of course the pineapple was a surprise..lol..

lostpastremembered said...

I must have read your mind! I just got some angelica at Kalustyans! I was in the mood for that sweet smell.. was going to make a syrup.. YOur photos are really spectacular.. I feel Like I am in Paris!

anna... said...

ciao Cristine.. ho dei premi per te se ti fa piacere passa a ritirarli da me... un bacio _Anna

Mary said...

This was fascinating. I had no idea how much work was involved in making this brand of candied fruit. I make candied peels and some fruit for the holidays but my process is no where near this exacting. Your photos are terrific and allowed me to see a process I might otherwise miss. Thanks for that. I've become a follower of your blog.

Angie said...

that's gorgeous never heard of it before.

Stella said...

This is such an awesome write up, Christine. I would love to have such a store nearby my hollow! Funny thing is I know I've eaten a pear like that in the picture at the top of the page-even looked exactly like that. I'm now tortured thinking about when and where that was...

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

The fruit looks beautiful. Great post! Thanks for sharing this awesome experience with us!

Bellini Valli said...

Who new so many fruits could be candies and so beautifully too. They give me many ideas:D

A Canadian Foodie said...

I have visited the Confiseurie in Nice twice... toured it both times. Am having a moment not recalling its name... all of the same items, same process. Beautiful... rose petals, violette petals.. clementines... ooo - I brought some home and poked holes in them and bathed them in vodka... just to cover, actually, for three months before Christmas. TO DIE FOR. The liquer and the fruit. I was through Saint-Remy and didn't know about this place... so, thank you! And... the celery looking bits I could not find out the name of on either visit - so double thank you. I found them particularly outrageously expensive. Something like 10 Euro a stalk... and, if Ihad a sample, maybe would have bought a bunch.
:)
Valerie

A Year on the Grill said...

OMG... what beautiful photos... How could you ever stand to leave

Rhandi said...

How intriguing! I love your photos and the way that you describe everything. Definitely a bit Willy Wonka- the pineapple at the end is calling my name!

Bridgett said...

What a gorgeous place and the candies fruits are wonderful. I would almost hate to eat them.

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Dear,
First time here. You have a lovely spot. I am drooling at the sight of those candied fruits. So colorful and mouthwatering! Following you.

Velva said...

That looks utterly amazing-delicious!

Julia said...

I am in LOVE with this place. How utterly gorgeous. Ahhhh! I want to go!

Joanne said...

I am in awe. I have never seen anything like this before! Leave it to the French :)

Megan said...

Wow. That fruit looks incredibly gorgeous and intriguing. I can just imagine adorning a cake with some of it!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

These are just amazing! What a process. I bet they are just out of this world delicious!

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

Those are beautiful. I think I'd like to use the fruit more as decoration, but would definitely want to taste the chili peppers!

Megan Carroll said...

I suspect the peppers would be my favourite too.. Beautiful.

Joie de vivre said...

Everything is gorgeous. I can imagine myself just staring at things in this store for hours.

5 Star Foodie said...

Wow, very neat! The candied fruits are so gorgeous!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

How absolutely beautiful they are! Perfect pieces of art - all of them.

Tangled Noodle said...

I have never seen such gorgeous preserved fruits before. Thank you for the wonderful information - I learned so much with this post!

tasteofbeirut said...

This post brought me back to my years in La Belle France! Saint Remy has got to be the most famous village in Provence.
Love the colors of the fruits, they look like opaline.
Love the red chilies, that's a new one for me,bet it taste good, would love to try it with chocolate!
I hope I will go back to Saint Remy someday and visit this shop.

sophia said...

Oh my God. Who can bear to eat that? They're like little exquisite, hand-carved jewels!! >.<

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

All the fruits have turned into jewels! Pretty!!

Michelle said...

There's something about preserved fruit that not only beautiful but so pleasing to me. Maybe that is why I love canning so much. I enjoy opening the door of my pantry and just looking at my jars. I know this sounds odd, but for me, it's an every day habit!

MeetaK said...

funny you should post this - I made poached pears yesterday and have sealed the bulk in jars for use later. a few we had with ice cream! this place looks like fruity heaven. i think i could seriously spend hours with my camera and of course tasting my way through the flavors!

Christy said...

This is just so beautiful and SWEEETTTT (literally!)
It is no wonder the French are world famous gourmands/chefs =)

Mimi said...

What an incredible process, with gorgeous results.
Mimi

Debinhawaii said...

How incredible! They are like sparkling jewels. I think I could spend hours in that store just looking at all of the different sparkling fruit and other goodies.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

That is such a lovely shop, isn't it? I love the fruit confit in that gorgeous jar.
Sam

♥peachkins♥ said...

what a wonderful shop!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Totally wild!
I am especially loving the candied chillies. :)

El said...

I actually saw a program a few years ago about this place. The technique they've developed is incredible. I wish I could have some!

kat said...

that fruit looks like gems

Angie's Recipes said...

All the different kinds of candied fruits....they all look so fancy and beautiful.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Wow, everything looks so gorgeous. I'd love to try some. I have a feeling, though, I can't just sub these for my daily fruit intake without some, ahem, calorie-related consequences!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh my Dad loves these fruits beautiful

Heavenly Housewife said...

OMG these are just so stunning. I love these things. I have had those orange slices dipped in chocolate and they are just heaven. I wish i had some right now.
Have a sweet weekend.
*kisses* HH

Penny said...

Only the French would think to do such beautiful things with food. I loved this post. I'm also anxious to hear about the apartment situation.

Tara said...

all of these pics are beautiful!! wonderful art! who knew food could look THIS beautiful.

Lori said...

Those pears in the first photo look amazing. Hard to believe they are real fruit. In Brazil they candied a lot of fruits and doce de abobora was my favorite, candied pumpkin. I haven't tried making it myself, but your post has brought it to mind again. Maybe I'll try. I have no expectation that it will look like this stuff, but maybe it will at least taste good!

msmeanie said...

Lovely! I've been dreaming about making a fruit cake and I bet these candied fruits would be divine. Too bad they are so far away. Beautiful photos as always!

SashaInTheKitchen said...

such a cool post about the process of making candied fruits. I'd love to try this out sometime. awesome photos. Would love for you to check out my blog as well. Best, Sasha

Danielle said...

what a beautiful presentation! My sweet tooth is having a tantrum right now...crying out for some. Am I going to be forced to run to the kitchen vending machine and appease my sweet tooth with a boring (yet my favorite candy) snickers bar?

Joie de vivre said...

Thank you, as always, for visiting. Yes, the venison did make a mess, but it was delicious and I enjoyed the leftovers cut up over a spinach salad for lunch today!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a wonderful store! What beautiful products!

Cheers,

Rosa

Kim said...

I think I would've spent a fortune in this store. Everything looks so pretty and delicious. I bet the chili peppers were awesome:D

sweetlife said...

what a great store..the presentation is fab..the time and care is definately showcased..great post


sweetlife

SharleneT said...

Everything looks so delicious. And, the lemons have stolen my heart. Thanks for sharing.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

This is interesting! I've never seen this before!

Thanks for sharing!

Mom on the Run said...

Those fruit are beautiful! I must try them if I ever have the opportunity.

alwayswinner786 said...

Awesome those fruits look beautiful!
My personal favorite is those glazed red pepper. Love to have them.

Katy ~ said...

I think there was never a pirate's treasure chest that looked as golden and glistening as these fruits!

Trix said...

Whoa. I esp love the top photo - they look like glass.

La Table De Nana said...

My next trip I would love to visit a confiserie..Thank you.